As a boy, Walter Keeler was thrilled by Romano British pots, which combined classical proportions with robust execution, and exploited the intrinsic characteristics of their material and making. These qualities became fundamental ingredients in Walters work, chiming with modernism that infected him as a student, and leading him to think of himself as a sort of neo-classicist. Much of Walters salt glazed work has been austere, moderated by degrees of sensuality in the making and in the fired quality of the pots , but always reaching back into the traditions of vessel making (both metal and clay) for inspiration.
Some of Walters work is now made in earthenware, creamware to be precise, which springs from his love of Staffordshire pottery of the eighteenth century. This was a period of dynamic innovation when expanding technical and creative horizons, and a new middle class hungry for spectacular symbols of the sophistication and wealth, provoked some of the strangest and most wonderful pots ever made. Walter has always thought of his best pots as extraordinary objects doing a commonplace job – a description that would aptly fit the work of his eighteenth century heroes Thomas and John Wedgwood, Thomas Whieldon and William Greatbatch.
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